Minister "Blade" Nzimande Celebrates EWC’s Graduates

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, giving the keynote address.

26 May 2023.

One hundred and sixty-seven (167) National Diploma graduates, in the fields of Business and Engineering studies, were conferred, and for the first time, sixty artisans, produced by the college, were recognized at the Ekurhuleni West TVET College graduation ceremony, that took place at Emperors Palace. The recognition of the artisans at the graduation ceremony occurred exactly ten (10) years after the declaration of the Year of the Artisan in 2013 and nine (9) years after the declaration of the Decade of the Artisan, with the theme, "It is Cool to Be an Artisan," by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. The ceremony was honoured by the presence of Minister Blade Nzimande.

In his address, Minister Nzimande told the ceremony attendees that he felt highly honoured to be joining the graduation ceremony that recognizes the first sixty artisans produced by the Ekurhuleni West College (EWC). He furthermore indicated that it was interesting that this graduation ceremony took place exactly ten (10) years after the declaration of the Year of the Artisan in 2013.

"In my response to the President's State of the Nation Address (SONA), I have committed that through our SETAs, we will increase our targets for Workplace-Based Learning for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2022, to 107,000. We have also committed to having 15,000 TVET college graduates to be placed for Workplace-Based Learning. This is 5,000 more than the SONA commitments," said Minister Nzimande.

The Minister congratulated all the graduates for having worked so hard and smart as to be honoured on that day.

The Acting Principal of the College, Mr Peter Mudau, highlighted the achievements made by the college thus far. He indicated that in this year’s graduation ceremonies, held between April and May, 540 students graduated with their NC (V) NQF level 4 qualifications, and 565 students graduated with Nated N6 Certificates.

"Today, we are going to confer 167 committed and determined diploma graduands for both Business and Engineering studies," said Mr Mudau. He furthermore said that when our continent was celebrating Africa Month, and the achievements made by the individual countries within the continent, EWC was not left behind since we are celebrating the fact that we have added a total of 1,332 future-ready graduates to the national workforce, with a possibility of some graduates going on to further their studies at the universities, and others going on to start their own businesses.

"EWC has over 100 co-operative agreements with private and public organisation, as well as international institutions. These industry partners assist in placing our students as part of the Work Based Learning and Work Integrated Learning Programmes, and some have donated workshop equipment and funding for bursaries and for other activities of the college. Through these partnerships, we were able to place a total of 573 students in companies for job opportunities and internships. These are the students who were placed in 2023. It is for this reason that CISCO Networking Academy saw fit that EWC should be presented an award for Outstanding Performance – 'The Best College in CISCO Networking’ - at the 2023 Top Performing TVET Colleges Awards," said Mr Mudau.

The chairperson of the College Council, Advocate Chris Setlhako, used the ceremony to encourage graduates to use the education, knowledge and skills they acquired at the college to change and shape the world for the better.

The ceremony took place in a month in which TVET colleges are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the merger of our one hundred and fifty-two (152) South African public TVET colleges into fifty (50) colleges in 2003

Minister Nzimande, sitting with the procession during the graduation. Minister Nzimande, congratulating a graduate.
Graduates in a happy mood after receiving their National N Diplomas. Artisans that were recognized, sitting in their regalia, with their trade tools.


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